Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cheatin'-ass Cardinals links

Here's a collection of reads for you regarding the confirmation of what we knew all along: that the Cardinals suck.

Barry Svrluga (Washington Post): Authorities investigating whether Cardinals hacked Astros' network
The security breach - in which Cardinals officials are alleged to have accessed a wide array of proprietary information - alarmed executives throughout baseball, some of whom characterized the case as potentially among the sport's worst scandals. Those officials said teams take extraordinary measures to protect information - including trade discussions, evaluations of players and scouting methods - and a rival team could gain "an extraordinary advantage" by tapping into such a database, one official said.

One baseball executive:
"Oh my God. This is so much bigger than 'SpyGate.' If you have access to another team's full data mix, it's literally unlimited the advantage you could gain."

Derrick Goold (St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Cardinals say they were aware of FBI hacking investigation
The Cardinals have been cooperating with the investigation for at least the previous four months, though some employees said they were unaware of the team's alleged involvement until Tuesday morning. In Boston, commissioner Rob Manfred said that Major League Baseball did not intend to pursue it's own investigation.

Jerry Crasnick (ESPN): Sign-stealing goes high-tech
Corporate espionage is corporate espionage, whether it's Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald's vs. Burger King, or two MLB teams that haven't had much of a rivalry since Albert Pujols took Brad Lidge deep in the 2005 National League Championship Series. Baseball is a $9 billion business, and if the Cardinals or any other team can gain an advantage over the Astros (or any other team), there's going to be a temptation to try.

Jeff Gordon (St. Louis Post-Dispatch): No reason for Cardinals to act like Patriots
Industrial espionage would be conduct unbecoming America's Model Baseball Franchise. If the FBI finds merit in these allegations, the Cardinal's previously pristine image would be soiled. You know what that means: Folks will wonder what other transgression the Cardinals have committed while trying to gain advantages. Do the Cardinals keep winning because they run a better operation than most franchises...or do they keep winning because they cheat? No franchise wants to deal with such nonsense.

Nathaniel Grow (FanGraphs): The legal implications of the Cardinals' alleged hacking
While some are understandably comparing Tuesday's news to the NFL's recent "SpyGate" scandal...if true, the Cardinals' alleged hacking would, of course, be much more serious. Beyond just league-imposed penalties, the hacking allegations carry the possibility of criminal prosecution, not just for the Cardinals employees involved in the breach, but potentially for the organization as a whole.

(Read that article for the actual legal issues the Cardinals may be facing)

Tom Ley (Deadspin): What the Cardinals learned from hacking the Astros

Maury Brown (Forbes): Just how high up in the front office could the Houston Astros hack go?
Should (GM John Mozeliak), assistant GMs, or key persons in the analytics department of the Cardinals be hit, it could erode the way the club has performed with respects to not only play at the Major League level but their ability to always have prospects in the pipeline.

Craig Calcaterra (Hardball Talk): No matter how big the alleged Cardinals-Astros hack was, expect the Feds to take it seriously
Perhaps federal investigators and prosecutors will show restraint in this instance. After all, knowing that the Astros may have wanted to trade for Ichiro Suzuki is not a big deal in the grand scheme. But when was the last time federal prosecutors showed restraint? Especially when baseball - which the Feds have always used in order to make an example - is involved.

Dejan Kovacevic (DK On Sports): Are Cardinals cheaters?
It's a sensational story on the surface, no question. It's got all the fodder of Patriots-sized headlines, public outrage, Today show, Oprah, the whole deal. But sorry, upon digging past that surface, there just isn't much there...If you're going to hack into someone's system for a competitive edge, why the Astros, who aren't even in the same league, much less the same division, anymore?